Psalm 46:1 (New American Standard Bible 1995)

Published Date

For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

The following is the complete Psalm 46:

  1. God is our refuge and strength,
    A very present help in [c]trouble.
  2. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
    And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
  3. Though its waters roar and foam,
    Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.
  4. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
  5. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
  6. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
    He raised His voice, the earth melted.
  7. The Lord of hosts is with us;
    The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
  8. Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
  9. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
    He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
    He burns the chariots with fire.
  10. “Cease striving and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
  11. The Lord of hosts is with us;
    The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

It was August in 2010. I was the CIO of a large national company. The company was growing in leaps and bounds and life was good! Earlier that year I had my right knee ‘scoped’ to fight arthritis in that joint. In August, I felt a burning sensation that worsened rapidly in that knee. It felt like someone was holding a blow torch to it! I saw a number of doctors about my condition. They all told me that they couldn’t identify a problem. Eventually I ended up with a Clinical Professor at USC who specialized in pain management. He did some quick checks and told me that I had RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome). Today it would be referred to as CRPS I or II (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). The literature describes it as a (potentially) chronic condition expressing itself through ‘severe burning pain’ most often affecting one or more extremities. I also learned that if there is no early intervention, the condition would become progressive affecting organs, etc. Not good!

The constant severe pain ‘drove me crazy’ and I had to go on disability. The CFO and one of the owners of the company I worked for had a meeting with me. I was told that they couldn’t keep me on because of my condition. They wrote me a letter, telling me that they appreciated my services and that they would hire me back if I was successful in getting rid of my debilitating health problems. Here I was, no job (and eventually) no health insurance, with medical bills eating us alive. The USC professor eventually used a technique where the main nerve traversing the knee was (as he put it) ‘fried’ using a procedure called radio frequency ablation (essentially killing the nerve). Other problems (stemming from a serious car accident I had in the 70’s) started rearing their ugly heads! My left hip and my left ankle had been severely insured in that accident. As a result I had to have my left hip joint replaced in 1980 with a revision of that replacement taking place in My left ankle had suffered complicated fractures. Now my (artificial) left hip joint had come lose for the second time and the pain in my left ankle was overwhelming. In 2011 the Social Security Administration declared me ‘permanently disabled’ and we started receiving a monthly disability check (not enough to survive on for sure)! I also became eligible for Medicare (which helped a great deal). My plan was to take care of all my health problems and go back to work ASAP! In July of 2012 we had to file for bankruptcy, owing several $100,000 in medical bills.

In August I had my first surgery (2nd revision of the left hip replacement). In early 2013 I had my right knee replaced and in early 2014 my left ankle was replaced. I started to feel like ‘bionic man’ and told my family that in case of joint problems I would no longer see a doctor but go to an auto garage and have my joints greased! In order for us to be able to make ends meet, my wife took on a job that required a 2 hour commute every day (each way) besides being very stressful! Things were not going well for us. On the bright side, I was doing better in terms of my joint problems and I started to send out resumes. I learned quickly that the market for 65 year-olds (even with a substantial skill set) was not exactly ‘hot’! I tried hard but wasn’t able to land a job. I called the (new) CFO of the company I had worked for last and he met with me. He seemed to think that there still was a place for me at that company. However, months went by, I didn’t hear back and calls were not returned.

It was now April of 2015. One of my wife’s sisters was visiting from SoCal. We were sitting around talking. Everybody shared about their busy lives. My sister in law turned to me and asked me:” How has your day been?” I had spent all week sending out resumes and making phone calls. I was not prepared for this question (which was certainly not intended to embarrass me). I felt like someone had just punched me in the stomach! I don’t remember what I answered. I left the room and (silently) cried out to God. I told Him:” Lord, if you’re going to help me, right around now would be a good time!” Literally 20 minutes later, the phone rang and the owner of the company I last worked for was on the line. He asked how I was doing and what I had been up to. Then he said:” If you’re available, I could use your help”. I informed him that I was building a summer residence in the Bahamas but that I might be available 6 months from then … NOT! I told him I happened to be available and we arranged for a meeting. I got hired as a subcontractor. The next five years (from a job perspective) were spectacularly successful! Our family recovered emotionally and financially.

All this time, my wife and I had been praying (for our family and of course for our
specific situation). God had been our refuge and our strength, seeing us through
the difficult years. And when I had reached “the end of ‘my’ rope” and finally
cried out to God, He became a very present help in trouble, indeed!

Have A Blessed Day!

Hymns and Songs were written about beautiful Psalm 46!
Here is one …

Charlie LeBlanc- God Is My Refuge
(Hosanna! Music)

1989 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Inc.